Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A Warm Winter Tail - Blog Tour

Welcome to day 3 of the “Warm Winter Tail” blog tour. Today: an interview with author Carrie Pearson.

It’s been rainy and gray here in upstate NY and on days like this I really wish I had a warm fuzzy tail I could wrap around me. This is a great book for grabbing a cup of hot cocoa, snuggling up in quilt and reading aloud to your kids. Even the illustrations will warm you.
A Warm Winter’s Tail
By Carrie A Pearson
Illus. by Christina Wald
32 pages; ages 3-8
2012 Sylvan Dell

Carrie: Yes, Christina Wald is an amazing artist. Although she lives in Ohio, the illustrations look like they were drawn in my backyard in upper Michigan!

Archimedes: I read somewhere that this book was inspired by a deer you saw while out walking in your woods.

Carrie: Yes, I was walking through the woods in the middle of winter when I locked eyes with that deer. I’ve seen hundreds of deer in the woods over my lifetime, but on this day I saw curiosity, not fear, in his eyes. He stared at me for the longest time, and when I reflected on what I was wearing (hat, mittens, fleece scarf – it was freezing cold!), I decided he must think me a most strange animal. When he leaped away, I started breathing again and my imagination began to work. I could envision a baby deer asking its mama how people stay warm. As soon as I returned home and peeled off my layers, I sat down and began to type on my keyboard.
nature walk inspires book!

Archimedes: The book is written from an animal’s point of view.

Carrie: Yes, my background is in early childhood, and I’ve parented three amazing girls … so it seemed natural to believe that a baby animal would view the world from its perspective, just as a human child does. I didn’t spend too much time thinking about dialog from the animal’s point of view; I was more concerned about getting the science right.  And making sure the meter and lyrical structure fit the story. Over time the story evolved from a cozy bedtime read to a nature story.

Archimedes: Talk about the sort of research you did for the story.

Carrie:  I started with what I knew from observing animals in nature and information gleaned over years of reading. Then I listed several animals I wanted to learn more about and began reading articles and books. Eventually I chose one animal to represent each adaptation strategy: foxes have a tail that they use like a blanket.

Archimedes: Writing a book is only the beginning… can you talk about the process of getting your book from idea to print?

Carrie: I fiddled with the first draft from February 2008 to October 2008….and then submitted it for a “first pages” review at a writing conference. Even with good reviews I knew I had more work to do; I revised many times and started sending it the following year (fall 2009). Sylvan Dell picked it up in May of 2011.

Archimedes: As a homeschooling parent I always loved it when books included “back matter” - additional information, resources, things to do.

Carrie: Because of my background in education and teaching experience, I contributed quite a bit of material for the back pages. I thought about what I would like to have at my fingertips as a teacher, and a parent, who wants to extend the book into other directions. Editor Donna German created a lot as well; it was definitely a team approach. In fact, one of things that drew me to Sylvan Dell is their emphasis on educational fiction. They were ahead of their time in this respect.

Remember to post your comments at each stop on the blog tour – and get entered for an autographed copy of the book and a plush animal (one featured in the book). Tomorrow Tiffany hosts stop #4 over at Tif Talks Books.And you can find the entire blog tour schedule at Carrie's site.


  1. Thanks for hosting a stop on our tour, Sue, and for a nice review! I spent 5 years in Rochester, NY, so I know the gray you are experiencing. :)

  2. Carrie - I am curious if there was a warm winter animal that you wanted to include in the book, but did not have room for? Have enjoyed learning more about A WARM WINTER'S TAIL!

    - Cathy

    1. Well, I worked on including a ptarmigan because they fly into snowbanks and use the insulating effect of the snow. Isn't that cool? But I couldn't find the right words for it...Thanks for asking!

  3. I am from Michigan, and it has been rainy and grey these past couple of days as well. I will take that warm fuzzy tail too!

    1. Yes, as brilliantly blue as the Michigan skies can be, we seem to get our share of grey, too! It's a good backdrop for the sugar maples.

  4. I love that the book is written from animal point of view. If more people thought like that, this world would be much different. Love it!

  5. We love looking for forest animals near our woods and tracking them in the snow and mud. Thanks for the beautiful inspiration and for all the extra information about foxes.

    1. We love doing that too! We can learn so much about animal behavior just by watching tracks. You are so welcome!

  6. This would be fun to read curled up in front of a fire place on a cold day.